Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Holy renovation, Batman

This time not ours (well, sort of ours), but our neighbor's.

We live in what's called a "terraced house"-- U.S. translation=townhouse. Meaning, houses that are all connected. Since we're in a mid-terrace, that means neighbors on either side. These houses are over 200 years old, so they're not particularly well-insulated. Meaning we can often times hear into the next house if there's a lot of people over or music is particularly loud (which thankfully due to very quiet neighbors, is very rarely the case). We've been lucky because in the four years I've lived here, one of the properties neighboring ours has actually been empty. As I was moving in, Betty was moving into a retirement home. Betty had moved into the house when she was first married to her husband at the ripe old age of 18-- 70+ years ago. She had raised her family in this home, and her kids, even though mum had moved out, were reluctant to sell.

Well, sell they (finally) have, and considering the place hadn't been touched in over 80 years (there's still an outdoor toilet-- don't worry; Betty did have indoor plumbing as well; the outdoor toilet is just a bonus), it needs a lot of work. Work that started yesterday. They're literally GUTTING the place. Walls are coming down-- and rather loudly. It's making my kitchen cabinets (and subsequently all the dishes) shake. When I opened the medicine cabinet last night, a ton of things flew out (including my electric toothbrush which is now cracked).

Oh-- and did I mention I work at home?

I'm finding it hard to concentrate with the constant pounding (are they taking a sledgehammer to the walls or something??). It sounds (and feels) like they're going to come through our wall... Ughhhh. What I can't figure out is how freaking long can it take to knock down walls? These houses are SMALL. Plus, we have new neighbors on the other side of us, so there's lots of drilling and hammering coming from that direction too. On the bright side (as MRN pointed out), work on this street means more occupants and hopefully rising house prices. Between Betty's house and our corner property (as well as a few others on the street), things might be looking up for good old Grange Street. I doubt it, but one can hope.